Conflicts & War

UNICEF says 27 Afghan children killed as Taliban ramp up offensive

Kabul, Aug 9 (EFE).- At least 27 children were killed and 136 were injured in the last 72 hours in different provinces of Afghanistan as fighting intensified due to the Taliban’s push for gaining territory, the UNICEF said on Monday.

“In the last 72 hours, 20 children have been killed and 130 children have been injured in Kandahar province; 2 children were killed and 3 were injured in Khost province; and in Paktia province, 5 children were killed and 3 were injured,” the body said in a statement.

It added that such “atrocities” were “evidence of the brutal nature and scale of violence in Afghanistan which preys on already vulnerable children.”

UNICEF insisted that each of the deaths and instances of physical suffering were personal tragedies.

“These children are much loved and longed-for daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, cousins and friends. All of them are children whose right to protection, under international humanitarian law, has been disregarded by warring parties,” the statement added.

The organization also warned that there has been an increase in the number of children being recruited by armed groups, while many others had been traumatized due to atrocities committed against their families and others in their communities.

“Children should not pay for this worsening conflict with their childhoods. Only a complete end of hostilities can protect Afghanistan’s children,” UNICEF insisted.

As long as the conflict between Afghan government forces and the Taliban continues, the children’s rights to prosper will be in jeopardy and their future will be in danger, said the body.

 “UNICEF calls on all those engaged in mediation efforts to uphold the warring parties to their international obligations to children,” said the statement.

Afghanistan has witnessed unprecedented escalation in violence since May, when international troops began the final phase of their withdrawal from the country and the Taliban began a major push to regain territory.

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